1986 Volkswagen Vanagon Syncro

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Non-Westfalia Vanagons with Syncro are an interesting proposition. Obviously the Westies are the clear choice if you’re planning on living in your van for any extended period of time, but what if you just do short weekend camping trips? In that case, the full kitchen and investment involved with the pop-top may be a bit overkill. You could fit plenty of gear (including a camping stove and a cooler) in this van and have room to sleep two on the fold-down bed in the back, all while having the all-terrainability of Syncro 4WD. This example looks great with a gold repaint and on GoWesty wheels, striking a more subtle tone than many of the accessorized Vanagons we see. If light off-roading is a higher priority than having a home-on-wheels for weeks at a time, then this Vanagon could save you $20k compared to a full Westy Syncro.

Click for details: 1986 Volkswagen Vanagon Syncro on eBay

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1990 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia Syncro


When certain dream cars end up way more expensive than you ever thought they’d be, you’re forced to decide if you’ll wait until you make tons of money (which may never happen), or make some compromises and try to get an example you can enjoy as soon as possible. Maybe it’s just a high-miled chassis with a rebuilt engine, but when those are going for as much as a brand new GTI, what do you do? The ultimate value-killing rebuilt title is a big gamble, but with 70k miles enjoyed post-rebuild and a reserve of “well below $30k,” it may just be the best overall value for a Westy Syncro out there.

Click for details: 1990 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia Syncro on eBay

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1989 Volkswagen Caravelle Syncro

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Most of the T3 Syncros we see in the US are megacampers, done up with lots of GoWesty parts to take a shot at being the toughest van out there. Today’s Syncro used to belong to a German fire department but comes delightfully bare; a tin top with standard wheels and hubcaps keep it extra stock, with just the white top and bright red paint alluding to its public service history. There’s no camper or even bed in the back, but you can seat 9 people in this thing! With fewer than 50k miles, it’d go for something crazy on this side of the pond, but in Germany the T3 supply helps keep prices low.

Click for details: 1989 Volkswagen Vanagon Syncro on mobile.de

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29k-mile 1987 Volkswagen Vanagon Syncro Westfalia


Like the spotting of the Ivory-billed woodpecker decades after it was declared extinct, we have a Vanagon Syncro Westfalia today that is in nearly perfect, all-original condition. The 4WD Westies are rare enough, but nearly every example has been well used, with the nicer ones having undergone swaps and restorations (often by the great but pricey GoWesty guys). This example is the only one I’ve seen that spent most of its life in a garage and has never gone camping. Little items such as the sink sticker and vinyl drip tray cover are still intact, as this was apparently just used as occasional transportation by an older lady for 17 years, then parked after a small fender dent.

Click for details: 1987 Volkswagen Vanagon Syncro Westfalia on The Samba

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1987 Volkswagen Vanagon Syncro

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The last few months I’ve found myself examining all manner of Vanagons, from aged DoKas to pristine GoWesty Syncro Westfalias, but today’s 7-passenger Syncro is an interesting case. Aesthetically, it’s not all that, with some ill-fitting wheels and lackluster paint. Inside, the non-camping setup is contrary to my intended use. However, the Syncro 4WD is an awesome option box that usually comes with a huge price tag. It’s covered well under 100k miles, and has my favorite of all Vanagon grills, the South African quad-light setup. The asking price is a mere fraction of what most Syncros go for, making this all-terrain Vanagon a pretty decent deal and a solid starting point for the intrepid adventurer.

Click for details: 1987 Volkswagen Vanagon Syncro on eBay

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Wagon Week: 1990 BMW 325ix Touring

E30 Tourings are coming across with greater regularity, and we’ve been documenting the increase in immigration. No longer are they subject to endless hoops and finagling involving Canada, a European relative, and several thousand dollars. No, the glory days of the E30 wagon are nigh, and today we have an exciting rarity. The 325ix sedan is a cool car in its own right, but an E30 wagon with all-wheel drive and the flared arches is ice cold. I’ve seen good examples of these in Germany, but this one has made the transatlantic voyage and is in my hometown of Seattle, WA, making it that much more tempting. With few listed issues and low miles, this is a very hot wagon.

Click for details: 1989 BMW 325ix Touring on Craigslist Seattle

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1989 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia Syncro Hightop

Syncro Westies are a special breed, but today’s Vanagon is cut from an interesting cloth – or lack thereof. While most Westfalias’ tops popped up with a cloth tent, later models like this example could be had with a plastic high-top. What is lost in aerodynamics is gained in weatherproofness, creating a cozy loft and more mounting space for the rack-loving van crowd. While the top sticks out, the overall aesthetics are upgraded but pleasantly subtle, with upsized steel wheels, the great South African grille/light combo and tough bumpers blending into the colorless white/black scheme. The more I look at it, the more I love this van, and we haven’t even gotten to the mechanicals! Those are as good as they get, with an upgraded turbodiesel and Syncro four-wheel drive. No reserve will make this a fun auction to watch, though the low mileage and strong option and upgrade lists will probably take it out of most people’s price range.

Click for details: 1989 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia Syncro on eBay

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1993 Audi S4

Unfortunately I’m going to date myself here, but when I was in high school I had a love affair with Borbet Type C wheels. Sure, I loved BBSs, but the Type C was my then favorite – to the point where I had cut out the advertisement from Car and Driver that said in German “Lust after new wheels?” with an image of the Type C at the bottom and mounted it in my school locker. It was a brilliant ad campaign, and in the early to mid 1990s it was the wheel I wanted. When I got my first Audi – a 4000CS quattro – high on the list of “wants” was a set of 16″ Borbets. I saw them later at my first Audi event in 1997 at Lime Rock park, notably adorning two of my favorite models; a V8 quattro and S6 Avant. It was so memorable, in fact, that I took a photo of these cars in line with my favorite wheels – a photo I still have today. So, you’d think that when a set of my favorite wheels popped up on a period application like this 1993 Audi S4, I’d be super excited. But just to show how priorities change, I now find myself wishing it was wearing the original Fuchs-made 5-spokes. How weird is that?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1993 Audi S4 on eBay

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1985 Audi Quattro

If the GTi from earlier was expensive for an economy car in 1984, the Audi Quattro was near ridiculous in its pricing; at over $35,000 in 1982, it was more expensive than most Porsche models at the time, including the 911. But the Quattro was the R8 of its day, redefining Audi’s place in the market and introducing exotic performance to a more mainstream crowd. It wasn’t revolutionary in any one particular way; turbocharging and 4 driven wheels has previously hit the market in other applications. But the Quattro combined World Rally Championship performance in an everyday package that could comfortably carry 4 adults with luggage in style. They’ve been legendary since new, but not always appreciated as such – though Audi’s recent acceptance and acknowledgement that it did indeed build cars before the A4 has helped the rising market value of these models. Arguably the most valuable in general are the last model year; updates to the weak point computer and fuse box, coupled with the perfect stance 8″ Ronals and updated interior, along with slightly revised headlights and trunklid meant these were special cars amongst an already rare bunch. Less than 100 made it to these shores, so coming across them today is something of a treat:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 Audi Quattro on eBay

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2012 Porsche 911 Turbo

Porsche is thankfully one of those car companies that still lets you customize your ride beyond what one normally finds in the dealer brochure…provided you come with the checkbook handy. For years, Porsche has offered a “paint to sample” option for buyers who are perhaps a bit bored with the colors in the back of the dealer brochure. This has led to a multitude of interesting liveries over the years, including the second to last 928GTS produced, in a questionable shade of Pearlglanz Metallic over purple interior trimmings. Thankfully, some of these special combinations are less offensive than others. Such is the case with this 2012 Porsche 911 Turbo painted in Gulf Blue with a subtle Espresso Brown leather interior.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2012 Porsche 911 Turbo at Road Scholars

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